ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE
KELVEDON SOCIAL FC: 2. WHITE NOTLEY FC: 0.
Date: Saturday 13th January 2018. Venue: The Chase, Kelvedon
It’s still cold, in fact over the past two weeks I, like thousands of others have been suffering with this dreadful Aussie Flu but today after adding an extra layer I decided to venture out to watch a game of football and I wasn’t disappointed. A short trip to Kelvedon gave me a chance to watch the home team, being the only Premier Division team I had not watched this season so far, play White Notley whom I watched back in mid-September. Kelvedon Social FC, for the second season are jointly managed by Jay Matthams and Matthew Canavan and after promotion last season their team has taken time to acclimatise to Premier Division, languishing second bottom before start of play but with a decent defensive/goals against record (31), however, their goals for (16) was the lowest in the Division after sixteen fixtures. Fourth placed White Notley FC with a new Manager, Jonathan Read, scored eight times last week but had seen several players leaving but dependable players remained and four substitutes were named.
The match officials were Stuart Hannam who was assisted by Ralph Spooner and Keith Succamore and before starting on a heavy pitch, with its pronounced slope, the officials ensured the “Respect” handshake was carried out, not seen this occurring lately but it should be made before every ESBFL match, not just the Premier Division.
Kelvedon kicked-off but Knowles for the visitors made the first of several quick breaks but when defender Palmer slipped trying to reach a poor headed back-pass from Duckworth it allowed Thurston to stride on only to drag his shot wide of the far post as keeper Smith advanced to narrow the angle, in reality the home team should be ahead. Pater was sweeping up at the back with normal central defender Lodge playing in midfield, on six minutes Matthams crashed into the back of Knowles but the free-kick take by Pater was too strong for Falco down the left side. Even before the ten minute mark neither keeper had touched the ball more than once as the battle was all in midfield and then defences took over when danger threatened. A long ball from Duckworth sent Falco clear but Dawson, a rather unorthodox keeper was on hand to clear and on twelve minutes Falco won a header from which Lodge found Knowles galloping forward only for his driven shot to crash against the cross-bar and safety.
Knowles tracked back to dispossess Burton who recovered to send Gilbert forward and when Palmer, again slipped over, the eventual cross was intercepted by Pater. Young chased a long forward ball from Matthams to beat the tackle from Pater and from his right side cross Palmer headed clear to Botting who found keeper Smith. A strong run out of defence by Pater saw him beat three home players before Turner bundled him over for a free-kick, taken by Knowles but cleared by Fisher on the edge of the penalty area. A few more niggardly fouls followed with White Notley so far looking the more positive side in attack with a forward foray by Collier finding Knowles and when Lodge shot goalwards Matthams dived in to block the ball which ran on to Dawson. Lodge held the ball up well inside the Kelvedon half passing to Knowles who sprayed the ball wide to Botting but the deep cross was over-hit and out for a goal-kick. Knowles, a player I had not seen before held the ball up for Lodge and he looked to set Collier through but the ball reached Dawson first.
It took thirty minutes for Kelvedon to put another decent passing move together, Barnes found Young, a willing runner and chaser, receiving the ball back and another exchange followed until Young over-hit his cross, at the other end Lodge won a corner off Matthams, taken by Collier, long towards Lodge who headed over the cross-bar. Play was end to end and both teams were competing this evenly contested match, Pater hit a long ball to Cole marauding down the right side but Pannell was equal to the task defending well to set Pitkin away down the left side and after passing Botting and Palmer he over-ran the ball which rolled on to keeper Smith who seemed to get both hands on the ball but just managed to push the ball away as Pitkin dived in, could have been awkward had they collided but play continued. Now I mentioned keeper Dawson as being unorthodox so not once but twice he took on a White Notley with his feet as he attempted to clear, however from one situation he found Pannell who got the ball forward to Turner and then Barnes go involved and he crossed into the penalty area where Thurston’s header just cleared the cross-bar at the far post. As the half closed Collier had a shot blocked after good wing play between Falco and Knowles and for Kelvedon, Pitkin was another willing runner when the ball was hastily cleared forward for the home team.
HALF-TIME: 0 – 0
No changes to playing personnel at the second half restart, and after a welcome cup of tea I ventured to the far side hoping that more creative chances might happen. Lodge showed some neat touches and close control for White Notley before being fouled by Barnes however Lodge drove the free-kick straight at keeper Dawson then a free-kick from Botting was controlled on his thigh by Falco and when the ball fell into space beyond Pannell a fine block by Gilbert conceded a corner. Collier drove the first of two corner kicks goalwards, Fisher headed the first out with the second was punched clear by Dawson and five minutes into the half a poor bounce saw the ball rear up to strike the hand of Lodge, thirty yards from goal from where Young stepped up to blast a fine free-kick past the defensive wall only to strike the left hand upright and be cleared, with keeper Smith rooted to the goal-line. Another cross, this time from Corr found Lodge whose effort was charged down by Matthams. The next visitors attack was started by Pater, finding Falco then Knowles but Barnes cleared, then Knowles got around Barnes along the goal-line to fire in a low cross which keeper Dawson cleared with his left foot whilst facing his own goal!
On the hour mark, Dawson advanced in a one-on-one situation with Knowles with the ball hitting the keeper first before ballooning off Knowles for a goal-kick, and the stalemate persisted. On sixty-three minutes a double substitution from White Notley with Corr and Collier being replaced by Dobrowolski and Beckwith-Addison however Kelvedon picked up their game through Matthams who found Thurston and when Pater missed his attempt to head clear Young ran forward until good covering defence from Duckworth crowded him out. Beckwith-Addison fouled Pannell in central midfield, the game remained level and competitive with no clear cut chances so I’m thinking one goal, a mistake, an error of judgement or a piece of brilliance perhaps might settle this game which to a degree had opened up a bit. Young was stopped by Palmer and Dobrowolski set off on a trademark run down the left side until Barnes put in a timely challenge and Kelvedon responded with Pitkin and Young making progress down the left side to feed Gilbert who sent a rising volley just over the cross-bar. On seventy-three minutes Young, always inventive in close situations won a corner off Cole down by the corner flag, took the corner himself, sending over a curling cross which caught keeper Smith a couple of paces off his goal-line and in his attempt to clutch the ball which was falling behind him he only managed to push the ball into his own net, that’s it, a mistake, game over, Young is claiming the goal, naturally, not sure if Smith will claim the “own goal” though!
Almost immediately, Dawson was called into action at the other end firstly to clear with his feet and then when he rushed forward to clatter Beckwith-Addison close to the corner of, but outside the penalty area, Knowles stepped up to plant the ball high and wide of the recreational are behind the lower goal. With ten minutes remaining White Notley replaced Duckworth with Chinnery, whilst Falco and Turner had a friendly spat inside the centre-circle but it was now clear the goal had lifted Kelvedon and they wanted the ball more. Lodge forced a corner off Pannell, taken by Chinery and cleared by Fisher and Young and Dobrowolski needed to be calmed down with a free-kick taken by Chinnery being headed over by the unmarked Dobrowolski. Five minutes remained when Pater dispossessed Fisher with Smith clearing long, up-field to Lodge who dived towards the loose ball at the feet of keeper Dawson, with both players manhandling each other to earn a late caution a piece, the only ones of the game. Pitkin and Young combined down the left side with Young forcing a fine reflex save from Smith, who parried, the ball, towards Thurston but Palmer stepped in to block his shot. We were already into time added on when Young dribbled his way down the left side, time wasting I thought, but no, he took on Cole to send the ball across the penalty area where LUKE THURSTON swivelled to score with his left foot, the ball entering the net off the left hand upright and the home team were celebrating a two goals to nil victory.
FULL TIME: 2 – 0.
Throughout, this was a competitive match, strong challenges, mainly in midfield as defences stood firm with neither keeper having many saves to make, as I’d said before, one goal, a mistake or a piece of brilliance might settle this game and I suppose that is what happened. Veteran keeper Smith, like most keepers edged his way out to seek an advantage from the corner but Young tempted him once too often and when trying to retrieve the ball could only fumble the ball into his own net. Apparently Kelvedon have drawn or lost games this season from goals conceded late, in their games, so today it was the other way round as they went on to score a second deep in time added on. This win edges Kelvedon closer to Earls Colne and Dedham Old Boys, so with Barnston also pulling off a victory, over Dedham, it’s making the bottom of the table look interesting as well.
Now, for my Man-of-the-Match selection, for Kelvedon, the unorthodox but effective Dawson kept a clean sheet, Burton and Gilbert were a solid unit with both Barnes and Pannell keen to get forward, Thurston remained the target player and held the ball up exceptionally well with Matthams, Young, Pitkin, Fisher and Turner supporting from midfield, in fact a team effort but if I single out anyone then Gilbert, Matthams, Thurston and the often elusive Young deserve credit. Moving to White Notley, certainly not at their best today but there were chances, Pater and Palmer looked comfortable until Kelvedon scored and the match direction changed, Knowles always looked lively but his control often let him down when it mattered, up front Falco led the line using his height to good effect, Botting and Collier worked hard but none-more-so than Lodge who must have covered every blade of grass on the pitch. I was still deliberating my selection in the clubhouse after the match until one of the officials made my mind up, so Lodge it is.
KELVEDON SOCIAL FC: Colours: Yellow Shirts, Black Shorts and Black Socks.
Gareth Dawson., Paul Barnes., Jacob Pannell., Peter Gilbert (C)., Kieran Burton., Jay Matthams., Martin Young., Troy Pitkin., Daniel Fisher., Luke Thurston., Ben Turner.
Manager: Jay Matthams & Matthew Canavan.
Unused Substitutes: Jon Fisher., Max Mayo., Matthew Canavan.
WHITE NOTLEY FC: Colours: Blue Shirts, Black Shorts and Black Socks.
Graham Smith., Rob Cole., James Duckworth (C)., Charlie Palmer., Bartosz Pater., Daniel Corr., Aaron Collier., Jonathan Botting., Matthew Knowles., Scott Lodge., Peter Falco .
Acting Manager: Jonathan Read.
Used Substitutes: Kane Dobrowolski., Robert Beckwith-Addison., Aaron Chinnery.
Unused Substitutes: Lee Cullen.
Referee: Stuart Hannam (Walton-on-the-Naze).
Assistant Referee’s: Ralph Spooner (Braintree).
and Keith Succamore (Witham).
Man of the Match: Scott LODGE. (WHITE NOTLEY FC)
DATE FOR YOUR DIARIES
SATURDAY 20th JANUARY 2018.
FA INTER-LEAGUE CUP Round 3
ESBFL versus KENT COUNTY FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Venue: COGGESHALL TOWN FC, The Crops, Coggeshall
Reminder to Club / Fixture Secretaries
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